Shanghai copper and zinc slid to multi-month lows on Thursday as the China base metals complex tracked a broad selloff in London overnight amid Sino-U.S. trade tensions, while President Xi Jinping warned of difficult times ahead.
* COPPER: The most-traded July copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell as much as 1.8% to 46,570 yuan ($6,738) a tonne, the lowest since Jan. 15, and stood at 46,580 yuan as of 0213 GMT. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell for a fifth day, sliding as much as 0.5% to $5,896 the lowest since Jan. 24
* SPECS: Speculators’ net short in LME copper has expanded to 6.2% of open contracts, the most since October, brokers Marex Spectron said. After the drop below $6,000 a tonne, “speculative financial investors, who have remained loyal to copper on the LME in the past two weeks, are now likely to withdraw,” Commerzbank said on Wednesday.
* COPPER: Chinese miner MMG Ltd’s operations at its Las Bambas mine, one of Peru’s largest copper producers, have not been disrupted and talks with an indigenous Peruvian community are ongoing, the miner said on Wednesday.
* AURUBIS: Aurubis, Europe’s biggest copper smelter, has agreed to buy Belgian-Spanish recycling company Metallo Group for 380 million euros ($424 million) as part of an acquisition-led shift into other metals.
* OTHER METALS: Zinc, used to galvanise steel, fell as much as 1.5% in Shanghai to 20,290 yuan a tonne, the lowest since Feb. 15. Shanghai nickel was down 0.9% at 96,760 yuan a tonne.
* NICKEL: The global nickel market deficit widened to 12,500 tonnes in March from a revised shortfall of 1,000 tonnes the previous month, the International Nickel Study Group said.
* DATA: China, the world’s top metals consumer, is due to report final trade data for April, including scrap metal and alumina import figures, later on Thursday.
* EXPLAINER: China’s rare earth supplies could be a vital bargaining chip in the U.S. trade war.